East Anglian firms out in force at London boat show

London's boat show launched with a splash and fireworks this morning in a display that is hoped will give the sector a kick-start into 2011.

Boat building and industry firms from East Anglia were out in force at the Tullet Prebon London International Boat Show, at the Excel centre in London's Docklands, including a few new faces from Norfolk and a 32 metre motor yacht - the largest boat displayed inside the Excel centre.

Many were attracted by a new layout, including an extended boardwalk area and a watersports pool, giving the centre life and a buzz.

But none were complacent about the industry and hope the show, which opens to the general public tomorrow, will generate sales, work and jobs.

Ipswich-based luxury yacht builder Oyster Marine has a prime stand at the show, placing two Oysters, both made in Norfolk, in front of the main entrance and one of the new attractions - a large outdoor watersports hall.

Spokesman Liz Whitman said the show had had a major facelift and, although it was still early days, felt it was having a positive impact on visitors.

Returning to the show is Catfield-based Haines Marine and first timers to the Excel location of the show is North Walsham-based Hardy Marine. Regulars Wroxham Marine and Broom Boats, under its new ownership, are also at the show.

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It runs from January 7 to 16.